USG hopefuls begin 2013 campaign

Matt Lofgren

Campaign season has officially kicked off for current and hopeful members of the Kent State Undergraduate Student Government.

At 12:01 a.m. Friday, applicants who went out and got the 210 necessary signatures required to run were allowed to begin campaigning on campus.

There is a laundry list of regulations that must be followed by everyone running. All candidates must abide by the USG’s running guidelines or face consequences, enforced by this year’s election commissioner Hanna Wiese.

“A huge thing, I mean it sounds small, but a huge thing is where you put your posters and campaigning materials,” Wiese said. “You can’t put that on walls or windows, you have to put them on the bulletin boards, and that might sounds small but really that’s what we look for.”

Along with only appearing on bulletin boards, students running for a position cannot use the Kent State logo or the USG logo on any campaign materials. Just as elections officials will be vigilant, Wiese said any student that sees a violation should bring it to the attention of a USG member to be handled further.

Aside from the guidelines for a clean campaign, senators and directors alike are out to show that they can provide quality representation for each college or student interest.

Erik J. Clarke, current director of business and finance, said he is running for executive director. Working on his platform for his second campaign, Clarke said if his second time running is anything like his first then he expects exciting things.

“The easiest way to put it is, it’s very stressful, but you meet so many people and that’s really rewarding,” Clarke said. “It is slightly less than a month [to campaign]. It’s a very short time frame, but you meet so many people and hear all these different ideas and different passions that it really drives people; the reason we’re all here at Kent State.”

With two different positions that candidates can run for, director and senator, there is a very distinct difference in campaigning styles. Students can log onto Flashline March 5 and vote for any person running for a directors position, but students can only vote for senators for their college.

“I talked to a couple of the classes [while campaigning] and as a senator the only people that can vote for you are the people from your college,” said Tyler Pina, senator for the College of Communication. “I hung up a lot of posters, I talked to a couple student media organizations.”

This time around, Pina said he is running for director of communications and will have to broaden his campaign.

“Pretty much, it’s typical stuff; you meet with groups, you walk around campus and talk to people,” Pina said. “You put your face everywhere because, even if people don’t know who you are or if you’re going to be a good candidate, they’re going to vote for what ever person on the ballot that looks familiar.”

Senators and directors alike said campaigning for the USG is a great way to make their names recognizable to students.

“A lot of people, they’ll make buttons and poster and campaign with their colleges or go to different meetings for organizations,” Wiese said. “It’s really interesting and it gets you involved. As you’re running for this bigger position, you’re going to these organizations and finding out what they do and what we do, so it kind of helps people get to know each other a little better.”

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].